Keeping Fitness Current

At Lake Country Racquet & Athletic Club, keeping up with current trends is important.


Hartland, Wis.; 262 367-4999;

When racquetball was all the rage in the 1970s, tennis and racquet clubs popped up everywhere. Among those facilities was Lake Country Racquet & Athletic Club. Built in 1977, the Lake Country facility has undergone a few renovations since then. This family-owned and -operated facility was first built as a tennis and racquet sport club, offering as many as 10 indoor tennis courts and six racquetball courts. In 1983, a tennis court was eliminated for the development of a fitness center. "As the fitness industry continued to boom, more changes had to be made," explains Fitness Director Kris Walter. This meant the elimination of another tennis court a few years later for a swimming pool, a racquetball court for childcare services and, most recently, eliminating two racquetball courts for group fitness, indoor cycling and Pilates.

For owners John and Trudy Gebhard, keeping up with current trends is important. This includes new developments for staffing and education. Continuing education is a high priority for them, and all tennis professionals, group fitness instructors, massage therapists and personal trainers receive continuing education.

Something that hasn't changed at Lake Country is its member focus. Says Walter, "When members join, we want them to feel like they belong, and for them to have a great experience every time they work out. We believe that if members feel like they are part ofa family atmosphere, they will be more comfortable not only in asking for help with their health and fitness needs, but will ... encourage family and friends to become members, as well." Also, all staff members are employees of the fitness center, not sub-contractors. "This helps us achieve the family atmosphere we want our members to experience," Walter explains.

In keeping with this family atmosphere, the managers of every department work together to help members reach their goals. Tennis professionals encourage their clients to strength train; group fitness instructors encourage class participants to use other parts of the facility to prevent boredom; etc. Also, for personal training, clients have the option to work out in small groups (up to four people). Members can also choose one-on-one, sports-specific, post rehab or functional training. There is a separate area of the facility where these training programs take place.

Not only does personal training have its own area, but members who do not want to work out on the main fitness floor can workout in a secluded section of the facility. Free weights, functional training equipment and cardio machines are available in this area. It is also wheelchair-accessible to and from the main lobby.

To make sure all of these programs are working for members, the facility has an office that is dedicated to fitness assessments. It offers free fitness evaluations for all members, including a printed version of their personal fitness profile. "This office is also used by our certified and registered dietician, where members can work either one-on-one or for family improvements on their nutritional needs," says Walter.

Proving its dedication to keeping current, Lake Country Racquet & Athletic Club most recently added video cycling. This class offers a full screen projection and background music during group cycling. Explains Walter, "As our members ride, they can watch the projection in front of them of things like mountain terrains, the Tour de France and much more.

Facility Stats

* Date facility opened: 1977
* Fitness center size: 12,000 square feet
* Cardio equipment: More than 40 pieces of cardio equipment, including cycles, treadmills and ellipticals from Life Fitness, Precor, StairMaster and Woodway; BroadcastVision entertainment system
* Strength equipment: Machines and free weights from FreeMotion, Cybex, Life Fitness and Magnum Fitness
* Group exercise: Variety of land and water classes, such as strength and flexibility training, interval workouts, step classes, yoga, Pilates, core training, kickboxing, water walking, aqua aerobics and indoor cycling
* Activities and amenities: Tennis instruction for as young as four years old, tennis league play and tournaments, racquetball lessons and league play, message therapy, basketball, walleyball, sand volleyball (outdoor), lap swimming, swimming camps and lessons, family swim, childcare, personal training, pro shop, saunas and steam rooms, social events and parties
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